MABOU: The Inverness Hospital Auxiliary received more than $14,000 from the 100 Women Who Care Rural Cape Breton Chapter last week.

On October 18, the local chapterhosted its second annual meeting at the Strathspey Performing Arts Centre in Mabou. Despite the snow and hail, 100-plus women from across rural Cape Breton, from all walks of life, showed up or pledged donations.

“You try to get at least 100 women in a room and each of those women brings $100, so it quickly escalates into a $10,000 prize a charity can walk away with, which is fantastic for one evening’s work,” said Amanda Mombourquette one of seven members of the core committee.

Three local charities were randomly selected from a pool of organizations to make a presentation. Aside from the hospital auxiliary, the presenters included the Friends of St. John Arichat Society and the Port Hastings Museum. Each group made a five-minute pitch to the audience and the women at the meeting voted for the group that made the most compelling case.

“They’re not allowed with any props, no big Power Point presentations, just them telling their story,” Mombourquette explained.

“Generally we ask the charities to ‘tell us about your charity, what would you plan to do with these funds’ and often they’ll talk about the community impact that they make and then the women vote. So it’s very much a personal choice, very much a democratic process.”

Contributed photos
Representatives of the Inverness Hospital Auxiliary Lois MacIsaac (left) and Olga Smith accepted the more than $14,000 donation from 100 Women Who Care Rural Cape Breton.

The Friends of St. John Arichat Society and Port Hastings Museum will automatically be entered in the 2019 draw. As a result of their donation, the hospital auxiliary will not be eligible for funding for the next five years from 100 Women Who Care.

“We try to keep it fair that way,” Mombourquette noted.

The next meeting will be held in Port Hawkesbury on October 23, 2019.

“We’ve done the last two years in Mabou, the first year was the inaugural testing-out year, this year we wanted to go back to that location to see if we worked out the kinks and next year we’re taking it out on the road,” she said.

Also new next year will hopefully be the number of nominated charities as Mombourquette said the group is looking to increase that number from the 27 nominated this year.

“Now we’re actively seeking additional nominations from charities in the region,” she stated. “We know there’s lots more folks out there so we’re asking people to send us an e-mail or contact us through our Web site.”

To connect with them on Facebook, search for 100 Women Rural Cape Breton and “Like” their page. For more information, please contact Mary Janet MacDonald at 902-870-6504 or Josie MacEachern at 902-945-2067. To participate in next year’s event register at: www.100womenruralcapebreton.com and click on “Get Involved.” To nominate a charity in the region e-mail: 100womenruralcapebreton@gmail.com.

Pictured are (from the left): emcee and core group member Amanda Mombourquette; Marilyn Talbot and Anaese Gillis of the Port Hastings Historical Society; Olga Smith and Louis MacIsaac of the Inverness Hospital Auxiliary; and Chuck Boudreau and Becky Bourinot of the Friends of St. John Arichat Society.